Non-EEA Family Member of an EEA national
There are a few different types of visa applications for the family members of EEA nationals, including EEA Family Permits and EEA Residence Cards.
EEA Family Permit
If a non-EEA family member of an EEA national (for example, a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, parent or grandparent) who is outside the UK wishes to come to the UK to join their EEA family member, they must apply to the British Embassy for an EEA Family Permit. If this visa is granted, they are entitled to come to the UK to join their EEA family member for an initial period of 6 months.
EEA Residence Card
A non-EEA family member of an EEA national (for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, parent or grandparent) who is already in the UK can apply for an EEA Residence Card, to extend their 6 month Family Permit, so that they can remain in the UK with their EEA family member. This can also benefit someone who is in the UK on another visa category or even potentially someone who is here illegally. The EEA Residence Card will be granted for a five year period.
An EEA national and their non-EEA family members can apply for settlement (permanent residence) after having resided together in the UK continuously for five years.
The Home Office have announced that following the UK’s exit from the EU, the EEA free movement regulations will no longer be applicable and all persons who are in the UK holding visas under the EEA Regulations, will need to apply for a new visa under a new system that will be introduced. We would advise that if an individual wishes to apply for British Citizenship, then they should proceed with applying for a Permanent Residency document under the EEA Regulations as this is a prerequisite for a British citizenship application.